After much thought, I decided to revise the first chapter when I added the second. I only changed grammatical and spelling errors, leaving the plot the same.
A/N: This is a one shot I made after I hated the real ending. It takes place after the end of the anime. If you've only read the manga, you might a bit confused, the manga and anime have different plotlines and the characters look different. I liked the anime better so my story takes after it. It is in Hitomi's POV. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I do not own Escaflowne.
What to Do
"You just don't seem yourself, Hitomi. Hitomi! Are you listening to me?"
"Hmmm…? Oh! Mom, I didn't hear you knock! Sorry!" I made hasty recovery. I sat up on my bed which I had been laying on.
"I knocked at least five times before I entered. I swear Hitomi, sometimes it seems like you're in a different world." She had no idea.
"I'm sorry Mom, it's just I haven't been feeling well. My stomach hurts. I think it's a cramp." That was the truth. I had been tired lately, and it was not just heartbreak.
"Oh, honey, it's probably the change in your body. You quit track and stopped running so much. That can cause some upset in your system. Or, is it that time of month for you?"
"Mom! I don't wanna talk about it!" I fell back down on my bed and turned away from the door.
"Well, if it's not that, then maybe you should think about taking the test."
"And maybe I shouldn't." My tone was final, and when I heard the door close, I turned over and continued what I had been doing before, thinking of Gaea. And van.
Over on Gaea:
The sun was hot and strong where Van lay on his back looking up at Earth in a meadow outside Fanelia's city limits. He touched Hitomi's pendant that he always kept around his neck, just to feel near to her.
"Lord Van! Lord Van!" Merle called. "Oh, there you are Lord Van! I've been looking for you! The palace is just about finished. We wanted you to be there, but nobody knew where you ran off to. You really should tell people before you wander off too far."
"Oh, thanks for coming to get me," Van responded, getting up, which was a struggle with Merle clinging to him, and started for the city gates.
"Lord Van, you really aren't yourself. You have to forget her. You have to do what's best for your country, and that's moving on and leaving Hitomi in the past."
Van was silent for awhile as they walked on and answered in a quiet voice, "Maybe you right."
"I know I am. So no more running off and moping by yourself." Merle sounded pleased to have Van agree so fast, and started informing him about the celebrating ceremony to be held after the palace was finished.
Back on Earth:
I stared down at it. This was the third one I had used, although I heard they were never wrong if the answer was 'yes', as was mine all three times. It was after talking to mom that I decided to go for a walk. I happened to end up at the grocery store, and when I went in just so happened to see the tests that Mom had talked of. When I walked out of the store, I threw the others away and kept one for evidence, and started to walk slowly back home.
I did not know if I had the courage to tell my mother I was pregnant, though she seemed to have already guessed. What would happen when I went back to school? What would Yukari and Amano think? I began to think of what I went through on Gaea, this should be no problem compared to that. Thinking of Gaea brought back memories of Van. Van. Van! What was I going to do now! "I need you Van!" I thought desperately.
A beam of light came down from the sky and engulfed me in its brightness. I felt my feet being lifted off the ground and a surge of… excitement? No, more than that. Joy. It felt more like going home than leaving home.
When my feet hit ground and I could see, I was surrounded by unfamiliar people, but no doubt in Gaea. I was outside in a type of courtyard, the people were all sitting around tables, and most were eating. I looked up to the sky to see Earth floating next to the moon.
"Hitomi!" The unforgettable voice of Merle broke the silence that followed my arrival.
"Merle!" She was running for me at full speed. When she reached me, Merle grabbed my arm forcefully and started dragging me toward the side of the courtyard.
"Where'd you come from Hitomi? Of course I saw the beam of light, I mean why? We're getting on just fine here and don't need a checkup. Got that?" Merle exploded into speech as we reached the side and had pulled me into a narrow ally.
I ignored her and asked the vital question. "Where's Van?"
"He's in the newly repaired palace getting changed for the occasion." Merle seemed impatient; she did not want Van to see me. Too bad for her, I had to see him.
"Merle! Where is he? Where's Van?" I was almost screaming at her.
"We're fine without you! Van doesn't want to see you! You ruin everything!" She was quieter than me but there was force in her voice.
"That's not true! VAN!" At the end me voice rose to a shriek. Merle grabbed me. I tried to struggle out of her grip, but Merle was surprisingly strong, for a little cat-girl. Merle was trying to force me to the ground, but I was not giving up without a fight.
"Merle! Hitomi?" Van stood in the entrance to the alley, a few feet away.
"Van!" Merle and I said simultaneously. Merle released me and I got up and ran toward Van.
"Van! I've missed you so much!" I suddenly threw my arms around him and started to cry.
"Hitomi, what's wrong?" When I did not answer, he turned to Merle. "What happened, Merle? Did you do something to her? Why is she here and how long has she been here?"
"I- I don't know! Lord Van! I was just trying to help! I thought you were going to forget Hitomi!" Merle sounded as if she was going to cry as well.
"Van," I sobbed. "I just got here, I don't know why; it just kind of happened." An idea suddenly struck me. I pulled away from Van and showed him the pregnancy test. "Van, I think I need your help. I'm pregnant. I don't know what to do. I just found out and haven't told anyone else. I don't know how to. Van! I'm so happy to see you!"
Van was silent for a long time. I was afraid to meet his eyes, so I was looking at the ground by his feet. When at last he spoke. "Hitomi, I would like you to stay here, on Gaea, until your baby is born."
I looked up at Van. Now he was looking at the ground. "Are- are you sure? I don't know how far along I am, but it can't be far along. I've been back on Earth for almost two months."
"Hitomi! I want you- I really want you to stay!" He looked up meeting my gaze. "Of course you'll need arrangements. You can stay in the new palace, there's plenty of room. You'll need doctors, but I'll get the best there is. Please, Hitomi."
"I'll stay, Van." I spoke before I could think it though all the way. Behind me I heard a stifled cry, but when I turned around, Merle was out of sight around a corner. I let Van take me away toward the palace. Merle would come around.
"I've really missed you too, Hitomi. I'm happy that you decided to stay," Van answered as we started walking. "You can always come to me for help; I'll always be there for you."
~ ~ ~ Seven Months Later ~ ~ ~
After five hours of labor, it was done. I had a healthy dark-haired boy. I was in bed holding him and Van was sitting on a chair next to the bed.
"What do I do now?" I mused, mostly to myself. "I can't go back to earth with a little infant, but I should go back soon. I've been gone for so long already."
"Hitomi!" Merle stood in the doorway. Since that first day I had seen very little of her. "Hitomi, I'm sorry. You must think I'm awful, for ignoring you and all." Merle was looking at the floor. "But when I heard you had the baby, and came running over to see you."
"That's okay. I don't think you're awful. I'm glad you came to see me, though. I was wondering what I should do now."
Merle looked up at me. "I'm sooo happy you're not mad at me." Merle started creeping into the room. "I was kinda mean…"
"Merle, I can understand most of what you did. You were surprised to see me. I was surprised to be back here; I still don't know how I got here, or how I'm going to get back." Merle had crept up to my bed and was looking at the bundle on my lap. "Do you want to hold him?"
"Me?" Merle questioned, pointing to herself. When I nodded, she slowly lifted him up.
"Hitomi." Van had been quiet at the side of the bed, but I had not forgotten he was there. "When you go back to earth, I would like you to leave him." Van nodded toward the bundle in Merle's arms. I gasped, that was the last thing I thought he would ask. "Well, if you don't want to I understand, but I realize to truly bring Fanelia back, I need an heir."
"Oh, Van! I can't think of a better solution! I can't raise a baby on my own, nor could I give him to a stranger. If you really want to raise him here that is fine with me."
"Thank you, Hitomi." Van stood up and walked around the bed to where Merle was holding the baby. Merle silently passed him on.
"Thank you, Van. I feel better knowing what will happen to him."
"There's just one condition, for him to stay here. You have to name him."
"That's easy. I already have a name for him."
"Oh, and what's that?"
"I can't think of a better name. What do you think of the name Folken? Folken Jr.?"